Today we’re announcing the availability of the first version of the Connect America Cost Model. At the end of our public process, it will become the cost model the Bureau relies on to decide how to distribute up to $9 billion in Connect America funding in price cap areas to support the provision of voice service and build-out of broadband-capable networks in rural America. This is a significant milestone in our implementation of the USF/ICC Transformation Order.
Today’s model is the first of what are likely to be several versions; it was developed to allow testing of multiple scenarios and does not incorporate policy decisions at this point. With the help of comment from the public, we will make adjustments and changes until we adopt the final model in the coming months. The model is available to be examined and tested by any interested party pursuant to the procedures specified in the Protective Order that the Bureau released today. (Instructions on how to access the model can be found at: http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/caf-phase-ii-models ).
We will press forward to implement Connect America Phase II and will continue to seek public input through each phase of this process. We look forward to hearing from you.